Keeping track of business finances is an important part of your organization’s success. Always having a pulse on money coming and going allows you to make business decisions quickly and with confidence. However, without the right reporting tools, there can be holes into spend visibility, especially in the area of employee spend and accounts payable. Do you have the insights you need?
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The importance of strong, accessible reporting
Reporting should never include any guesswork. When pulling financial data, you should be confident in knowing you are looking at the most up-to-date and accurate information available. How can a business owner make a sound decision if they are looking at a financial forecast that has only half the necessary information or is filled with “best guesses” based on incomplete data entry or old financials. Projecting cash flow or monthly vendor invoice spend needs to be solid, not filled with holes and numbers from a few months ago.
As Erwan Philippe, author of Financial Reporting Guide For Small Businesses so eloquently states: “Having an accurate picture of your company’s financial health also empowers you to objectively strategize, forecast, and plan your finances.”
Business spend visibility does not come easy
Spreadsheets and manual processes only go so far in keeping track of employee travel and expense spend, as well as managing your accounts payable. Not only are these methods slow, but they are prone to error, leaving many financial teams frustrated with the process and the inability to pull up-to-date information in a timely manner.
This issue is fairly prevalent amongst businesses. According to a 2017 a global survey of 378 global Finance and IT leaders by Forrester “only 38% of companies are very satisfied with their T&E reporting and analytical capabilities. The rest are not. Without better tools to manage expenses, managers struggle to keep a handle on costs and forecast budgets.”
Making the move to automated solutions
How can this critical financial reporting issue be solved? Implementing automated, cloud-based solutions is a good place to start. Moving your processes away from spreadsheets and into the cloud makes the data easier to access from anywhere. Automation also removes the need for countless hours of data entry that is prone to errors and employee burnout. Reporting goes from taking weeks to taking minutes.
Upgrading to an automated expense solution is part of many organizations’ growth strategies in the next two years, according to the same 2017 Forrester report, with 38% of IT and finance decision makers citing increasing automation as a top T&E priority, and 43% seeing automation as a significant step to improve invoice management.
Initiate the change to better financial visibility
Incorporating automated systems into your travel, expense, and accounts payable processes needs to be done with care and in a way that allows you to make the most out of these solutions. Learn how other companies are automating and simplifying expense, travel, and invoice management through digital technology and the unified strategy between finance and IT departments in our free eBook, Getting better mileage out of your travel, expense, and invoice solutions. Making this shift today takes you one step closer to better financial visibility and more control over your business spend management.